Why You’re Not More Smarter Than a Fifth Grader

If you are doubling down on your comparative and superlative adjectives and adverbs, you’re doing too much.

A comparative adjective compares the difference between two objects and a comparative adverb compares the varying degree of a verb. Both are either preceded by the word “more” or end in the suffix -er.  A superlative adjective compares the difference between three or more objects and a superlative adverb compares the varying degree of a verb. Both are either preceded by the word “most” or end in the suffix -est.

Examples of Comparative Adjective and Adverbs

1. She is friendlier than her brother.
OR
She is more friendly than her brother.

NOT: She is more friendlier than her brother. The “er” suffix takes the place of the word “more.” There is no need to use both; choose one.

2. He swam that lap quicker than the first.
OR
He swam that lap more quickly than the first.

NOT: He swam that lap more quicker than the first. Again, the “er” suffix takes the place of the word “more.” There is no need to use both; choose one.


Examples of Superlative Adjectives and Adverbs

1. Ryan is the cutest basketball player on the team.
OR
Ryan is the most cute basketball player on the team.

NOT: Ryan is the most cutest basketball player on the team. The “est” suffix takes the place of the word “most.” There is no need to use both; choose one superlative.

2. Sam played his drums loudest at night.
OR
Sam played his drums the most loud at night.

NOT: Sam played his drums the most loudest at night. Again, there is no need to use both; choose one superlative.

3. The DA prosecuted drug dealers most mercilessly.

Let’s NOT even go there with the double superlatives. You wouldn’t dare put an -iest on the end of mercilessly, so there’s no need to mangle above sentence.

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